MoUs between the Parliamentary Library and two schools at the ANU

Sarah Wright made this Freedom of Information request to Australian National University

The request was refused by Australian National University.

From: Sarah Wright

Delivered

Dear Australian National University,

This is an FOI request under the FOI Act.

I wish to obtain to following documents:
* all agreements, such as Memorandums of Understanding, agreed between each of the Crawford School and the Law School, and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library in the last two years (I believe there are two agreements: one between the Crawford School and the Parliamentary Library, and another between the Law School and the Parliamentary Library).
* all documents related to the negotiation and concluding of those agreements,
* all documents related to the interactions between the Parliamentary Library and each of the Crawford School and the Law School since those agreements came into effect,
* all documents related to requests from the Parliamentary Library for work or services (however described) under those agreements, and
* all work performed under those agreements.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Wright

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University

Dear Ms Wright

Your Freedom of Information request has been received by the University.

Yours sincerely,

David Brumby
FOI Coordinator
Scholarly Information Services
Building 10A, Chancelry
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6125 4237
Email: [email address]
Web http://universityrecords.anu.edu.au/

CRICOS Provider #00120C

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University


Attachment FOI Request 201800066 SW Acknowledgement charges letter.pdf
1.7M Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Wright

Regarding your Freedom of Information (FOI) request 201800066 received by the University on 8 August 2018. Please find attached our letter of acknowledgement and charges.

Yours sincerely,

David Brumby
FOI Coordinator
Scholarly Information Services
Building 10A, Chancelry
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 6125 4237
Email: [email address]
Web http://universityrecords.anu.edu.au/

CRICOS Provider #00120C

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From: Sarah Wright

Delivered

Dear Mr Brumby,

Thank you for your response. I believe that charges should not be imposed in relation to this request because the request is in the public interest. The reasons that this request is in the public interest are as follows:

1. No private interest

No private interest is apparent from this request. The request, therefore, must be in the public interest.

2. Senate Estimates Questions on Notice

The Parliamentary Library has, in the last two years, provided two answers to Questions on Notice to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee in which the Library denied that it was intending to outsource function and activities. Those questions are 2017-18 Budget Estimates question number 48 asked on 7 July 2017, and 2017-18 Additional Estimates question number 36 asked on 26 February 2018.

The Senate is an important institution in the Australian political system, which promotes scrutiny and accountability of governmental matters. Specially, the functions of the Senate, as set out in Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice (14th edition, pages 28 to 30), state that the functions of the Senate include providing ‘adequate scrutiny of financial measures [such as expenditure by government agencies], especially by committees considering estimates’, and ‘to keep itself and the public informed, and to insist on ministerial accountability for the government’s administration.’ In the case of matters pertaining to the Parliament, it is common practice to substitute the concepts of ‘ministers’ and ‘the government’ with the concepts of the ‘parliamentary presiding officers’ and ‘the Parliament’, but the concepts apply equally to the Parliament.

Resolutions of the Senate, which are given force because of Section 49 of the Constitution and the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987, provide that it is a contempt of the Senate to mislead the Senate.

The documents requested go directly to whether or not the answers provided to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee were correctly answered, and whether, therefore, the Senate was misled. Given the functions of the Senate, including its function to ‘keep itself and the public informed’, the request is in the public interest because the documents within the scope of the request will go to the correctness, or otherwise, of the answers provided by the Library to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee while it was performing its scrutiny and public information roles.

3. Compliance with Commonwealth Procurement Rules

The Commonwealth Procurement Rules provide that ‘standing offers,’ regardless of their value, must be published on the AusTender website within 42 days of an entity having entered into an arrangement (Rule 7.18). I believe the MoUs constitute a standing offer under the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

I have surveyed the AusTender website and I have not been able to identify where the MoUs have been notified in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

The release of documents that might disclose non-compliance with a Commonwealth law, particularly where that law is directed at publicly disclosing information which is the subject of this request, is in the public interest.

I trust these reasons provide a sufficient basis for you to establish that the FOI request is in the public interest.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Wright

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University

Dear Ms Wright,

 

I refer to your request for access to documents under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). As your request covers documents which
contain information concerning the business, commercial or financial
affairs of an organisation, the Australian National University (ANU) is
required to consult with the organisation concerned (under section 27 of
the FOI Act) before making a decision on the release of those documents.

 

For this reason, the period for processing your request has been extended
by 30 days in order to allow our agency time to consult with that person
or organisation (section 15(6) of the FOI Act). The processing period for
your request will now end on 27 November 2018.

 

The consultation mechanism under section 27 applies when we believe the
organisation concerned may wish to contend that the requested documents
are exempt because their release would disclose trade secrets or
commercially valuable information or may adversely affect their business
or financial affairs. We will take into account any comments we receive
from the organisation but the final decision about whether to grant you
access to the documents you requested rests with the University.

 

More information about exemptions under the FOI Act is available in Fact
Sheet 8 on the website of the Office of the Australian Information
Commissioner
[1]https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor....

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Officer

University Records

Scholarly Information Services

The Australian National University

Canberra ACT 2601

 

References

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1. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University


Attachment FOI 201800066 Decision Waiver of Charges Request.pdf
743K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Wright,

 

Please find attached correspondence regarding your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Officer

University Records

Scholarly Information Services

The Australian National University

Canberra ACT 2601

 

 

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From: Sarah Wright

Delivered

Dear Mr Brumby,

I refer to your decision in relation to my request for charges to be reduced in full.

Could you please provide me a statement of reasons under section 13 of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Wright

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From: Sarah Wright

Delivered

Dear Mr Brumby,

How are you going with the statement of reasons? I hope you are not thinking that you can not respond and then claim the FOI application has lapsed.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Wright

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University


Attachment FOI Request No.201800066 SW s13 statement of reasons.pdf
387K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms Wright,

 

Please find attached correspondence regarding FOI request 201800066.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Officer

University Records

Scholarly Information Services

The Australian National University

Canberra ACT 2601

 

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From: University Records Manager
Australian National University

Dear Ms Wright,

 

Further to our email correspondence dated 4 December 2018, please be
advised that as no payment has been received for FOI 201800066, this
matter is now considered withdrawn.

 

Should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me at
[1][ANU request email].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Officer

University Records

Scholarly Information Services

The Australian National University

Canberra ACT 2601

 

 

References

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1. mailto:[ANU request email]

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